The San Juan County Sheriff’s Office has received a new Bell 505 paid for with the $3.25 million capital outlay funding from the state legislator. Sgt. Gary Mauldin, the chief pilot for the program, flew the helicopter to San Juan County from Dallas.

The B505 replaces two OH58s the sheriff’s office has been operating for the past several years, are approximately 50 years old, and it was becoming increasingly difficult to keep them operational. Both aircraft had been through numerous engine rebuilds, and finding replacement parts for them was presenting a challenge every year with some older aircraft being cannibalized for parts to keep others flying.